Jodie Foster’s stunning performances as a rape survivor in The Accused and as Special Agent Clarice Starling in the hit thriller The Silence of the Lambs earned her two Academy Awards® for Best Actress and a reputation as one of the most critically acclaimed actresses of her generation.
Foster began her career at age three, appearing as “The Coppertone Girl” in the television commercial. She then went on to become a regular on several television series, including Mayberry RFD, The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, My Three Sons, and Paper Moon. She made her feature debut in Napoleon and Samantha when she was eight years old.
But it was her role in Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (1975), which brought her to the audience’s attention, and her powerful portrayal of a streetwise teenager in Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver (1976) that won her widespread critical praise and international attention. Foster appeared in a total of four films in 1976, Bugsy Malone, Echoes of Summer, Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane, and Taxi Driver, which were all presented at the Cannes Film Festival. Alan Parker’s Bugsy Malone, earned her an Italian Comedy Award.
In total, Foster has appeared in more than 40 films. Most recently she starred in Drew Pearce’s action-thriller Hotel Artemis. Prior to that her films include Elysium opposite Matt Damon for director Neil Blomkamp; Carnage for which she received a Golden Globe Award nomination; Nim’s Island with Gerard Butler; The Brave One for director Neil Jordan for which she received a Golden Globe Award nomination; Inside Man with Denzel Washington and Clive Owen; the box-office hit Flightplan; Jean Pierre Jeunet’s French language film, A Very Long Engagement; David Fincher’s box-office success, Panic Room; Anna and the King for director Andy Tenant, Contact for director Robert Zemeckis; Nell opposite Liam Neeson; the comedy Maverick opposite Mel Gibson and James Garner and the romantic drama Sommersby opposite Richard Gere.
Other select motion picture credits include Woody Allen’s stylized black and white comedy Shadows and Fog; Siesta; Stealing Home; Five Corners; as well as earlier films Tom Sawyer; Freaky Friday; Adrian Lyne’s Foxes; Tony Richardson’s The Hotel New Hampshire and Claude Chabrol’s The Blood of Others, for which the multi-lingual Foster looped all of her own dialogue in French.
For her role in The Silence of the Lambs, Foster was also awarded a Golden Globe® Award, a British Academy Award, a New York Film Critics Award and a Chicago Film Critics Award. Foster received her first Oscar® nomination and awards from the National Society of Film Critics and the Los Angeles Film Critics for her role in Taxi Driver. She also became the only American actress to win two separate awards in the same year from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts – Best Supporting Actress and Best Newcomer honoring her performances in both Taxi Driver and Bugsy Malone.
In 2013 she was presented with the Cecil B. DeMille Award from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for Lifetime Achievement. Additionally, in 2016 she was awarded with the Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film from BAFTA Los Angeles.
In addition to her acting, Foster has always had a keen interest in the art of filmmaking.
Foster made her motion picture directorial debut in 1991 with the highly acclaimed Little Man Tate, in which she also starred. In 1995, Foster directed her second film, Home for the Holidays, which she also produced. The film starred Holly Hunter, Anne Bancroft and Robert Downey Jr. In 2011 she directed The Beaver, which starred Mel Gibson, Jennifer Lawrence and Anton Yelchin and Foster. In 2016, Foster directed the thriller Money Monster which starred George Clooney, Julia Roberts and Jack O’Connell.
More recently, Foster made her television directorial debut. She directed episodes of three highly acclaimed Netflix series – Orange is the New Black, House of Cards, and Black Mirror. Foster received an Emmy Award Nomination and a Director’s Guild Award Nomination for “Best Directing in a Comedy Series” for Orange is the New Black and a Director’s Guild Award Nomination for “Best Directing in a Drama Series” for House of Cards.
Foster founded Egg Pictures in 1992 and the company produced Nell (1994), for which Foster earned an Academy Award® nomination for Best Actress; Home for the Holidays (1995); the Showtime telefilm The Baby Dance (1998) which received a Peabody Award, four Emmy® Award nominations and three Golden Globe® Award nominations; as well as USA Films’ Waking the Dead, directed by Keith Gordon starring Billy Crudup and Jennifer Connelly. In 1996, Egg presented the award-winning French film Hate (L’Haine) in the United States. Foster and Egg Pictures also produced The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys (2001).
Foster graduated with honors from Yale University in 1985, earning a B.A. in literature.